Is Gambling Harm our Blind Spot?

Event held on 20 May, 2021

Is Gambling Harm our Blind Spot?

Gambling is just a part of life for many Australians. But gambling harm can be a blind spot.

This community conversation was an opportunity to put this public health issue in the spot light, exploring the evidence of how it’s harming our family, friends and the community.

Personal stories demonstrated how ordinary people can fall victim to gambling.  Anna Bardsley very eloquently shared her story, then Paul and Louise from the Three Sides of a Coin Project told their personal stories very creatively through the medium of a stage play in the round.  Sam Hearn gave a local perspective while Angela Ireland contrasted the complexity of gambling harm with other social issues.  Jeremy Forbes shared his experience of tradies by linking gambling to the young male culture on building sites which can in turn lead to serious mental health consequences.  Tim Costello rounded out the evening by revealing the extent to which gambling is institutionalised in Australian society (per head we are the world champions) where governments rely on gambling income. Compared with other nations gambling is very lightly regulated here.

Key messages that came out of this forum were:

  • Gambling is a public health issue:
  • Gambling harm can affect the health, wellbeing and financial security of the entire community:
  • Gambling affects a higher proportion of young men under the age of 30 and women over the age of 55:
  • Family violence occurs due to the impact of many factors, including gambling;
  • As a community, we all have a responsibility to recognise and promote culture change on the issue of gambling.

Thank you to our Event Partners for the evening

Three Sides of a Coin (Link Health), Mornington Peninsula Shire, Connect Health, Hope Assistance Local Trades (HALT), COACH Network, SHARC, Mt Martha Rotary, Alliance for Gambling Reform, Mornington Community Information and Support Centre.